Africa in 2019: Prospects & Forecasts

Tue 29 January 2019

2019 is set to be another eventful and unpredictable year in Africa. Politically, all eyes will be on the general elections in Nigeria and South Africa. But several other countries are also set to hold crucial votes, including Tunisia, Senegal, Algeria and Botswana. How will these play out? What issues are citizens most concerned about today? And what effect could increasingly influential social media platforms – and potentially the spread of fake news – have on the elections?


Economically, growth in Africa is predicted to rise to 4.1% in 2019. But how will the benefits of this growth realised by citizens across the continent? Will negotiations over the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) continue apace? And will governments be able to create enough jobs and keep down the cost of living? How will people respond where they cannot?

Culturally, what does Africa have in store for the coming year? The continent’s creatives – and young creatives in particular – continue to inspire a boom in film, music, art and tech worldwide. But what will be the new themes and challenges that dominate in 2019?

To kick off the exciting and uncertain year, our panel – with expertise across politics, activism, the arts, education, technology, health and the economy – will attempt to answer these questions and many more.

Join us for the Royal African Society’s flagship events in London and Edinburgh, delivered in partnership with the British Council, to discuss and debate what 2019 holds in store for the continent.


Razia Khan, Chief Economist for Africa and the Middle East, Standard Chartered

Nanjala Nyabola, Writer and independent political analyst, Kenya

Patrick Sam, Chairperson of the National Art Council of Namibia (NACN), Namibia

Chair: Eliza Anyangwe, Writer, editor and moderator

Image: Meklit Mersha – Africa Nouveau Festival, Nairobi, Kenya

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